Smoke The Cannabis Detective Story Blog

Hello, welcome to my Story blog for my up and coming book Smoke the Cannabis Detective.

Smoke: The Cannabis Detective cover art.
Cover art By Jenny K Pennington.

Now I’m trying to raise awareness about medical marijuana and I’ve written a book I hope to get published. You can learn more about that here:

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https://www.facebook.com/Smoke-The-Cannabis-Detective-1771964829485436/

http://michaeljp6btw.blogspot.com/2017/06/smoke-cannabis-detective.html

However to raise awareness about my book I’ve decided to have a daily story blog.

STCD Story update #1 posted 6/13/17 8:21 am

Gwen was out at a farmers market selling honey. Which she did almost every weekend. I use to go with her but it became a problem. People would recognize my face and it would be more about me than the honey. Gwen was just as well-known as me as my wife and partner, but it was me everyone wanted to talk to. I see ghosts. Not my choice, and not without a little help of a cannabis strain called Ghost 19.

STCD Story update #2 posted 6/17/17 6:27 am

While Gwen was gone it was my job to pick the next case. We had narrowed it down to six, but I was having trouble deciding. So I decided to ask Sarah. She was our “silent” partner she was our first case a girl murdered when she was fourteen. She was a ghost, and we helped her find her murder. That murder was dead now, but if that was supposed to provide some kind of closure, and help her “move on” it failed. Now Sarah helped us solve cases. I took out Casper.

STCD Story update #3 posted 6/18/17 9:29 am

Casper was the name of my smoking pipe, or bowl as it was called. Casper was made of glass and had white ribbons that swirled around and looked a little like torn sheets. It was Gwen’s idea to name it Casper. I packed it with my Ghost 19, marijuana buds that had been ground up into a powder like consistency and placed in the pipe like tobacco. I used my lighter to set the leaves on fire while I inhaled to smoke from burning them through the pipe. I felt the familiar filling of euphoria or “high” as I smoked the weed. There was a time I would have never let myself experience this. I didn’t smoke weed or do drugs. I didn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarets. I used caffeine but even then I worried about its consumption. I wasn’t against it, I supported Gwen’s pot usage both medically and recreationally. I just didn’t want to do it myself.

STCD Story update #4 posted 6/19/17 10:37 am

That all changed with one little word. Cancer. I promised Gwen that if I ever got cancer I would try the Medical Cannabis. I had always been supportive so I put my money where my mouth is. I signed on with a doctor named Tina Howard Chace, she gives me the G-19 hookup and my regular doctor follows through by checking my progress. So far things are looking up cancer is getting smaller. The side effect is killer though.

So you might think it’s just as simple as taking a puff on a pipe and then talking to Abraham Lincon for an hour. Nope. G-19 only opens the door, if a ghost want’s me to see it, the ghost has to do something to get my attention.  I looked down at my coffee and the dark water began to swirl in the cup.  Not fast but just noticeable enough that I began to watch it. Suddenly an eyeball popped up to the surface. I jumped in surprise. “Sarah?” I looked around. I didn’t see her, I looked back at my coffee. The eyeball had grown a mouth with sharp little teeth and it leaped from the cup at my face I could swear I  felt it’s jagged little teeth sink into my nose. So startled was I that I spilled my coffee on my lap and had to stand up to brush it off. All the while Sarah was standing there laughing at me.

STCD Story update #5 posted 6/19/17 10:45 am

“You got me,” I said to her. She always got me. I was an easy mark it would seem. I pondered for a moment if I could sue a ghost for scaring me and making me spill hot coffee on my lap. Even if I could how would I collect? I got to the business at hand. “Sarah, what case do you think we should do?” Sarah couldn’t answer, not verbally. It was not a perfect connection either, I’ve only spoken to a ghost once and that was a strange circumstance. Sarah disappeared for a moment and then reappeared next to the table. I left the letters on the table next to anything we got next to them so she could see them. I had no idea if this was necessary. She pointed to a locket. It was exactly what I hoped she wouldn’t do.

STCD Story update #6 posted 6/21/17 3:02 pm

The locket didn’t have a letter it was delivered to the Honey stand. It belonged to a mother of a boy named Danny Price whose death had been ruled a suicide. His mother Carol doesn’t believe that. Why didn’t I want this one? Something about it felt bad. I’m no psychic, (well at least not that kind of psychic,) but I listen to my feelings.

“Really,” I asked Sarah. She got a bit of a scowl and pointed more emphatically at the locket. I grabbed another letter. “How about this one? This one has a missing mom!” Sarah shook her head. “Fine!” I said in frustration.


STCD Story update #7 posted 6/22/17 1:02 pm

Gwen came in. “Hi, Hunny!” She said. Her hazel eyes smiling she was a woman in her early forties but she looked much younger. She was a beautiful plus-size woman.

“Hello, my love!” I said.

“Wacha doing?” She asked.

“I was talking to Sarah about our next case,” I said. I didn’t want to tell her what Sarah had chosen.

“Really?!” She asked excitedly. Gwen was the real mystery buff. If it weren’t for her I would have never taken my first case. “What did she say.”

There was absolutely no chance that Gwen and Sarah could talk. She tried G-19 but it didn’t work for her. I only knew one other person who tried G-19 and saw ghosts. He was dead now.  Still, a part of me was worried that somehow if I lied to Gwen Sarah would tell her. “The locket,” I said.

STCD Story update #8 posted 6/23/17 8:35 am

“The locket!” Said Gwen excitedly. This was the case she wanted from the beginning. I did my best to avoid it, why was it always the ones I didn’t want? Gwen hugged me and gave me a kiss. “I’m sorry it was the one you don’t like.”

“Those are normally the best cases,” I said.

“They are, that’s how I knew we should take it.” Said Gwen.

“Now what?” I asked.

Gwen looked at me with a smile. “The flower pot?”

STCD Story update #9 posted 6/24/17 10:18 pm

The Flower Pot was a local weed bar. A “weed joint” so to speak we lived in Colorado Springs and enjoyed legal recreational weed too. Gwen and I went there to hang out. It was the place I saw my first ghost. His name was Bennie Gains. and he uses to work in this place when it was a theme restaurant.

“Detective Smoke!” Cried the weed-tender from the bar when I came in. Everyone looked at me. I waved back. Detective Smoke was the moniker I got from a couple of smart ass cops who thought it was funny. Now it’s just what people call me.

STCD Story update #10 posted 6/25/17 3:55 pm

We sat in the back of the bar so we could discuss the case while we smoked. Gwen was smoking Cheesequake. I was smoking DJ Short Blueberry.  (Who came up with these names?)  “This woman believes that her son did not commit suicide?” I asked.

“That’s right.” Said Gwen.

“How do we prove that?” I asked.

“Follow the clues I guess.” Said Gwen.

“So you mean we work?” I asked.

“Yeah, that.” Said Gwen.

“Well, who’s this Caroll?”

“Well…” Said Gwen. “Her name is not Caroll. I kind of told you that her name was Caroll so you wouldn’t freak out.”

“Why would I freak out? I don’t freak out.” I said. “So tell me what her name is.”

“Dona…” Said Gwen.

“Dona who?” The I had the worst thought. “You’re right I’m going to freak out!”


STCD Story update #11 posted 6/26/17 4:45 pm

“Dona Dibley!” I cried. Dona worked with me at TSA. I put up with her because I had to, but in short, she was ten pounds of crazy in a five-pound bag. “At least now I know why I didn’t want to do this case.”

“It’s not that bad.” Said Gwen. “She came to me at the honey stand why you weren’t there.”

“I don’t know if we can help this woman,” I said.

“Sarah seems to think we can.” Said Gwen. “She genuinely believes that Tom’s death was a murder.”

“She genuinely believes she has the power to banish demons!” I said.

“Say’s the man who can see dead people.” Said Gwen.

“Touché,” I said. I would have thought I was bonkers if the old me had met the new me. Was just holding onto old prejudice?


STCD Story update #12 posted 6/27/17 10:53 am

I was a little on the quiet side the rest of the night. Gwen got tired of my sulking and we went home. The next day we went out to see Dona. She met us at the door. “Chewie!” She cried and she ran over to give me a hug. Chewie was her nickname for me on the sound I was tall and somewhat hairy.

“Solo!” I replied as I hugged her in I-don’t-really-want-to-hug-you-but-you’re-hugging-me-so-I-have-to-hug-you-back kind of way. I started calling her Solo because she called me Chewie, and Chewie needs his Han. She was nothing like him. She was small with blond hair. She was very into the spiritual stuff. I suppose Gwen was too, but Dona talked about it all the time. Unless I steered the conversation elsewhere.

STCD Story update #13 posted 6/28/17 10:39 am

The hug lasted longer that comfort would allow. Dona began to sob gently in my arms. I looked at Gwen for help. She just shrugged. “It’s okay.” I soothed her. “It’s okay.”

“Look at me.” She said sniffling. “I’m a wreck.” She kept hugging me.

“No-no of course not,” I said sympathetically. “Take as long as you want.” I didn’t mean that, not really. I was uncomfortable and wanted this to end, but I was not heartless and the woman had just lost her child. I could stand to be uncomfortable for a time.


STCD Story update #14 posted 6/29/17 1:00 am

Eventually, we moved inside Dona’s trailer and Dona made us some coffee. “Are you still with TSA?” She asked.

“You know I really don’t know,” I said. “They haven’t gotten back to me since the ‘test.'” Dona and I were chosen for a ‘random’ drug screening. Since TSA was a federal job, using Marijuana was forbidden. Turns out it wasn’t so random. The FBI had gotten a guest list from The Flower Pot, and my name was on it. They had us sign in when we came in so they could keep track of members and people who paid. The twist, the test happened on the day I found out I had cancer. So I hadn’t started using weed medical or otherwise. I went to The Flower Pot to hang out with Gwen.

They suspended me, but have really gotten back to me yet. It would seem to be something of a legal quandary for them. It’s been few months. I just put TSA behind me.


STCD Story update #15 posted 6/30/17 12:18 pm

“So how about you?” I asked. “Did you get your retest?” Dona was pulled with me to the drug test, most likely to legitimize the testing so I couldn’t later claim they were singling me out. Dona was more than a little nervious about having to test.

The testers were very adamant that I did not flush after filling the sample container in a bathroom stall. I didn’t really know how that prevented pee fraud, but I had no problem compiling. Dona on the other hand flushed. This invalidated her test. She claimed it was an accident but I suspected otherwise.

“Well, I did.” Said, Dona. “But you know what happened? I tested positive! I told them it was my sleep medication but those buggers wouldn’t listen…” She went on for a while about how it was unfair and the test was rigged against her.

STCD Story update #16 posted 7/1/17 11:22 am

Dona was always a chatty Cathy, one of those people I tended to tune out if they went on too long. I got an idea. I gave Gwen a knowing glance, she shared my theory that Dona failing the pee test was not because of her medicine. I found a pause in talking and asked. “Do you mind if we smoke?” I pulled out my weed pipe.

“I thought you didn’t do that.” Said Dona.

“I didn’t, but then I got cancer,” I said. “Do you mind?” I didn’t have to smoke, of course, my cancer treatments were from weekly cannabis injections and daily cannabis pills, but in for a penny.

“Oh. I’m so sorry.” Said Dona. “No, I don’t mind.”

Gwen and I lit up as Dona looked on longingly. “Did you want to join us? I asked, and Gwen offered her pipe. I didn’t share my pipe. I was too much of a germaphobe. Okay, I wasn’t Monk, I just didn’t like sharing pipes and straws and stuff.

“Nooo.” Said Dona. “I couldn’t possibly.” She looked at the pipe. “Well maybe just once…” She took the pipe from Gwen “It is legal now, and what are they going to do fire me?” She proceeded to take a drag off the pipe that made Snoop Dogg look new. Gwen and I exchanged glances.

I managed to make myself cough. I was way better than when I first started but still new at this.

STCD Story update #17 posted 7/1/17 !2:01 pm

I switched from my pipe to my road buddy. A Vape Pen I kept filled with G-19. It was more discreet than a bowl and easier to hit. I was hoping I might catch a glimpse of Danny if I was lucky he’d help to corporate Donna’s story.

Donna calmed down some and began talking about Danny. Turns out Danny Price was his real name, his mother recently remarried, to a Carlos G Dibley. Carlos worked as a lawyer and was away on a trip right now. He was due back in a few days. Danny also had a sister Megan, she was the older of the two and lived in a house with her police officer husband. Danny was living with them when his supposed suicide happen.

It was right about then Danny made contact.

STCD Story update #18 posted 7/3/17 11:27 am

I’m not a very good listener. I do this thing where I think about something else but in the back of my mind, I keep track of what the other person is saying. Dona talked for a long time and I had stopped paying attention to her altogether. My mind was wandering onto other things as I did my vision relaxed until Dona’s face became one big blur. Something changed about her face, drawing my attention and making me focus on it again. She had two faces the face that was hers was talking to Gwen who was actively engaged. The face that wasn’t hers was kind of ghostly and material it was just slightly off from Dona’s face.

With a jerky motion, it turned towards me, then tilted it’s head to the side. It had big almond shaped eyes and tiny mouth and no nose just its where his nose should be. It’s tiny mouth stretched into a bigger mouth with a thousand tiny needles for teeth. It leaped from the chair where Dona was sitting and came at me with its long claw-shaped fingers. I screamed as the ghostly entity burst into a cloud of smoke. I normally try to keep my cool but ET on meth freaked me out.

“Are you okay?” Asked Dona.

“He has panic attacks.” Said Gwen. “He’ll be fine.”

STCD Story update #19 posted 7/4/17 10:50 am

“Oh, I get panic attacks too.” Said Dona. “Did you want some of my medication?” I could now see Danny standing behind her. He was a young boy about nineteen, his face was fixed into a permanent scowl. He wore his hair over one of his eyes, he wore black eye shadow around his eyes and black lipstick. he had a black shirt and Jeans. He was trying very hard to rebel.

“No,” I said. “I’m good.”

“You sure?” Said Dona, shaking the bottle. It always surprised me just how reasonable people were about sharing their prescription meds.

“I’m good,” I said razing my vape pen. Dona let it go. I didn’t have anxiety, I saw ghosts and sometimes it was a little scary, but not as scary as the pills inside that bottle. America had a pill problem, doctors taking kickbacks from pharmaceuticals would prescribe medicines to anyone who wanted them. Sure there were some diagnostics involved, but those were minimal and easy to get around.  So often people were prescribed pills they didn’t need for problems that weren’t that bad. Pills could be helpful if used right but taking one from a friend was not the right way.  Despite pot’s reputation as a schedule one class drug, pills were what was really scary.


STCD Story update #20 posted 7/5/17 8:32 am

Normally I don’t tell people when I see the ghost, I really don’t want them to know it makes things more about the ghost than the murder. But I wanted to test Dona, she claimed to see ghost and demons as well. She had some weed, but it wasn’t ghost-19. “Dona,” I said. “Your son is present.”

She looked around. “Where is he?”

“Behind you,” I told her.

She looked right at him. “I don’t see him.” She said. “You know what it is? He’s mad at me! He hasn’t shown himself to me since the murder.”

Danny rolled his eyes and gestured in frustration at his mother. It seemed pretty clear that she couldn’t see ghosts.


STCD Story update #21 posted 7/6/17 10:26 am

With Danny present, we could get down to business. “So Dona,” I said. “You think someone murdered Danny?”

“Yes.” Said, Donna. “I know nobody believes me but it is true.” Danny stood behind her and clearly nodded his head yes.  Gwen was paying attention to me I gave her a knowing glance. She nodded back.

“What’d he say?” Asked Donna.

“He confirmed your suspicions,” I said.

“I knew it!” She proclaimed. “Who did he say killed him?”

“It doesn’t quite work like that,” I said. “I only get ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.”

“It’s too bad he won’t talk to me.” Said Dona. “I can hear them plain as day.” Danny was becoming agitated as She talked.

“Who do you think killed him?” I asked. Trying to change the subject.

“Well, the demons of course.” Said Dona.  This was the last straw for Danny. He seemed to scream in fury and he walked out of the room. Though the door. I always wondered if a ghost could do that. I took that as a sign that it wasn’t demons.


STCD Story update #22 posted 7/7/17 12:50 pm

“Daemon’s?” Gwen asked.

“Yes.” Said Dona. “They’ve been after him since he was little. I told him, to stay with me. I was the only one who could protect him. Now they’ve taken my Baby!” She started crying again.

Dona wasn’t much help after that. Gwen and I got her to calm down and left for the night. I didn’t know what Dona wanted me to do about demons, but there was more here than meets the eye. Gwen and I decided to go talk to Danny’s after lunch the next day. We didn’t get up early.  It was bad for Gwen’s nausea. Cannabis helped though.

STCD Story update #23 posted 7/8/17 3:30 pm

We arrived at the home of Keven and Alice Sutton. We knocked on the door and a Woman answered she looked like a younger version of Donna. “Who are you?”

“Um…” I had no idea what to say. Gwen Stepped in.

“We are privet investigators, we’re here to talk about Danny on behalf of you mother.” She said. We were still working out the license thing but it was sort of true.

“You can’t be serious.” She said. “My mother thinks Danny was killed by demons.”

I gave doubtful look to Gwen and said. “We have reason to believe that Danny was murdered, but not by demons. Are you Alice?”

“Yes. I am Alice.” She said. “But seriously what do you know that the police don’t?”

STCD Story update #24 posted 7/9/17 12:10 pm

“Well, you see. I smoked some dank weed and Danny told me he was murdered.” I didn’t really say that, but it passed through my head. I did get to the part where I said. “Well…”

“It’s complicated,” said Gwen. “We just have a really strong feeling…”

“Yeah. I see why mom chose to talk to you.” Said Alice. “Wait,” She gave me a really weird look. “You’re that guy?” She asked. “Mom said that she knew you, but I didn’t believe her.”

“Oddly enough we use to work together,” I said. “The last time I saw your mother we were both taking a pee test together.” That sounded less weird in my head. “Separately! I mean. Not together-together.”

“Right…” Said Alice, “I’m going to close the door now.”


STCD Story update #25 posted 7/10/17 11:19 am

“Wait,” I said, not realizing she was joking. “We just want to ask a few questions.”

“Look you seem like nice people. Weird, but nice. I just don’t see how it could be anything other than a suicide with the way he was found.” Said Alice.

“And how was he found again?” I asked slightly embarrassed.

“You don’t know he died?” Alice asked.

“Your mom was a little vague on the details.” Said Gwen.

“How much are you guys charging her?” Alice asked.

“We haven’t discussed cost…” I began to say.

“It’s pro-bono.” Said Gwen, and that made me do a double-take.

“Okay, come in.” Said Alice. “I’ll tell you what I know.”



STCD Story update #26 posted 7/10/17 11:15am

“So what made you decide to trust us?” I asked. The Sutton home was average, but it had a nice kitchen. We sat in the dining room and drank coffee.

“My mom is reality challenged, she’s a magnet for con-artists.” Said Alice. “You just don’t give off that vibe.”

“So why do you say she’s reality challenged?” Asked Gwen.

“Well, the demons that haunted Danny, they weren’t demons. Dad was abusive to both of us. Mom either refuses to acknowledge it or just straight up remembers it differently.”

I nodded at Alice and said. “I kind of thought that about her.” Before I started seeing them I didn’t believe in ghosts. I’m still not certain I do. “Or really something along those lines. She tells this story of walking in on a demon hovering who I assume to be Danny and how the Deamon assaulted her when she tried to intervene.”

“That was Dad,” Said Alice her mood darkening. “He left shortly after that. That was when mom got her miraculous power to banish demons.  I got out as soon as I could, I had some bad times, then I found Keven. He encouraged me to get therapy, I still go.”


STCD Story update #27 posted 7/12/17 1:54 pm


“So you talked to Danny?” Asked Alice. Desperate to change the subject.

“In a manner of speaking,” I said. “It’s more like waving at each other from really far away.”

“So how did he tell you that he was murdered.” She asked.

“I asked if he was murdered and he nodded yes.” I had a sudden realization. “It just struck me. I’m a human eight ball.”

“What else did he tell you?” Alice asked.

“Try again later. only it was a little more middle finger-y. Danny wasn’t the most helpful of ghosts.” I said.

“That sounds like him.” Said Alice. “He was a real pain in the ass, he didn’t cope well with the abuse and our mother telling him it was some otherworldly force. He started cutting himself. I guess that’s why nobody questioned it when he ate a gun. No one but mom that is.”

STCD Story update #28 posted 7/13/17 5:21 pm

“Ate a gun?” Gwen asked.

“Sorry.” said, Alice. “The hazard of being married to a cop, he put a gun up to his temple.”

“That’s weird,” I said. “Why did he do it that way?”

“It’s not like it is in the movies.” Said Alice. “People don’t just put the gun in their mouth and pull the trigger.”

“That’s why it’s weird,” I said. “People usually just do what they see in the movies.”

“Maybe,” said Alice “I don’t know.”

“Who’s gun was it?” Gwen asked.

“It was Keven’s spare.” Said Alice. “Somehow Danny found out the combo and took the gun out while we were gone.”

“So it happens here?” Asked Gwen.

“Yes,” Said Alice. “In the basement. We already tore up the carpets and painted the walls.”

“Can we have a look anyway?” I asked.

STCD Story update #29 posted 7/15/17 1:00 am

We moved the party downstairs. The room had been redone. “We’re getting ready to sell it. After what happens down here we just don’t feel comfortable anymore.”

“Who found the body?” Gwen asked.

“That would be me.” Said Keven who was working out in a home gym. “Who are your friends?” Asked Keven.

“This is Peter and Gwen Kurtz, they are looking into Danny’s case for my mom.”

“I guess that makes me relieved you aren’t prospective buyers. Hey!” He said Looking at me. “Your detective Smoke, and you,” He said looking at Gwen. “Are the smart one. Smoky and the Brain! Am I right?”

“Needs work,” I said. “But you are right Gwen is the brains of the operation. As such, she needs top billing in our combined nickname.”

“Thank you for recognizing me.” Said Gwen overjoyed. “Most people want to talk to the guy who talks to ghosts.”

“Believe it or not I prefer to be her sidekick,” I said. “The Doctor Watson to her Sherlock Holmes. I’m just the asshole with the ‘gift.’ Speaking of which,” I took out my vape pen. “Do you mind?”


STCD Story update #30 posted 7/16/17

“No.” Said Keven. “We don’t allow pot smoking in our home. I got after Danny for it a lot.”

“Please, it might be helpful to the case.”  Said Gwen.

“I’m sorry.” Said Alice. “But I don’t believe you. You seem like nice people but…”

“Danny was a troubled boy.” Said Keven hugging his wife for support. “We tried to get him to go to therapy like Alice, but in the end…”

“Well if there was a possibility that he was murdered, wouldn’t you want to know?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” Said Keven, “It’s above my pay grade. There were no signs of a struggle and the door was locked. If someone killed him, he let them in.”

We didn’t get much out of them after that, just a basic timeline. The Suttons left about six for date night. They came home at ten and Danny was dead. The only reason they knew that was Keven forgot his glasses downstairs, that’s when they found him.


STCD Story update #31 posted 7/17/17

“So that was a bust,” I said to Gwen in the car.

“Yeah, it sucks when they don’t let you smoke.” Said Gwen. “Still we learned how Danny died.”

“I got to admit I don’t see how it could be a murder,” I said.

“Four hours is a lot of time.” Said Gwen. “You still don’t think like a pot head.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Teenage kid alone four four hours, I know what I did when my parents left me all alone.” Said Gwen.

“Get high?” I asked.

“Yep,” Said Gwen.

“So you think someone else could have been there?” I asked.

“I’d count on it.” Said Gwen.

STCD Story update #32 posted 7/18/17

Alice provided us with a list of Danny’s friends as well as the coffee shop they hung out at. Covfefe.  Yep, that happened. It used to be called Eternally Dark Roasted Coffee, but the owner was hoping that changing the name would bring him some new business.

The restaurant was busy getting a ‘presidential’ makeover. I couldn’t tell if it was meant as a homage or a spoof. Not sure if it mattered. “Excuse us.” Said Gwen to the owner.

“I’m busy here.” He said. “These contractors are animals.”

“Did you know Danny Price?” Asked Gwen pushing on.

“Yeah,” said the owner. “Nice kid. A real shame.”

“We were told that some of his friends came here,” I said.

“Back corner table.” He said. “The one with vultures and crows circling overhead. Don’t let them fool you. Their bark is worse than their bite.”

Sure enough, there was a small band of goths sitting in the corner.

STCD Story update #33 posted 7/19/17

So how do you approach a bunch of goth teenagers and ask them about their dead friend? Do you go up to them and say “Hey guy’s I’m that guy who smokes pot and sees ghosts! I think your friend might have been murdered! Do you mind if we sit and ask you some questions?” That sounded like a really horrible approach. So I did it anyway.

The four goth teenagers looked up from their phones faces pale and wearing black lipstick. “What the fuck did I just here?”

“Sorry, he’s mentally deranged,” Said Gwen. “We’re privet investigators we just want to ask a few questions about Danny.”

The group consisted of three girls and one guy. They all wore black and had a whole skull motif going on. “Your Smoke?!” Said one of the girls. “OMG!” She said the letters. She seemed to catch herself. “That’s cool I guess.”

“Can we sit down?” I asked.

STCD Story update #34 posted 7/20/17

The kid’s hesitated, one of the girls spoke up. “Sure.”

We sat down and the kids introduced themselves, the boy was Peter like me, he preferred to be called Wolf, the girls were called Mary, Jill, and Lox. Mary had short hair and seemed the most obsessed with skulls. Jill had long hair and sat closest to Peter and Lox was the only blond of the group.

“So what do you mean that Danny was murdered?” Asked Lox.

“We have reason to believe it might not have been a suicide.” Said Gwen.

“Did you see his ghost?” Asked Mary. “Did he tell you he was murdered?”

“Well not in so many words, but yes,” I said.

“That’s so awful. Who would kill Danny?” Asked Jill.

“Well, maybe it was his supplier.” Said, Wolf.

“Supplier?” I asked.


STCD Story update #35 posted 7/21/17

“Danny was the drug dealer of our group.” Said Wolf.

“He always had the best weed.” Said Jill.

“Danny dealt in drugs?” Asked Gwen.

“Well not ‘drugs,’ just weed.” Said Mary. “I don’t even consider it a drug anyway.”

“So who was his supplier?” I asked.

“Well…” Said Wolf. “Ever since Danny died we’ve been a bit short in the weed department. Maybe if a couple of ‘Legal’s’ could hook us up? We might recall his name.”

Lox wasn’t as close to Peter as Jill but was in punching distance. Which became relevant right about then, she punched ‘wolf’ in the arm. “Ow!” He cried.

“He doesn’t know.” Said Lox. “None of us do. Danny kept his suppliers name a secret.”

“That’s really all we know.” Said, Mary.

“You could still hook us up for helping you out. We all want to try G-19.” Said Wolf.

Gwen and I looked at each other. “Sorry, guys I don’t share my medicine with anyone.”

“Aw.” Said, Mary. “I really wanted to see a ghost.”

With that, it was time to leave. “We got to go.” Then I affected my best Colombo impersonation. “There’s just one thing I don’t understand…”

They all looked at me blankly. “What?” Asked Lox. No one remembers the classics.

“Why do they call you Lox?” I said in my normal voice.

Lox rolled her eyes and said. “I like bagels.” Yep, my fault for asking.

STCD Story update #36 posted 7/22/17

We were leaving Covfefe and on our way back to the car when I noticed someone following us. He was wearing a ballcap and kept his face hidden. “Um… Gwen.” I said quietly.

“Yes, dear?” She said.

“I think that guy may be following us,” I said. Trying not to draw attention.

Gwen glanced back at him. “I think you’re right. What do we do?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Call the police.” Said Gwen.

“I put my hand in my pocket to retrieve my phone.”

“Take your hands out of your pocket.” Said the man. We turned around and he was holding a gun.

“I’m guessing you’re not here to rob us,” I said.


STCD Story update #37 posted 7/23/17

Staring down the barrel of a gun give’s you a perspective on life. You realize things. Like I really should have used the bathroom before leaving Covfefe… I had to pee so bad I couldn’t see straight. I have a thing about public restrooms, I can use them but I prefer not to. It was a short drive to our apartment I thought I could hold it.

“Put your hands up!” said the man.

“Don’t hurt us.” Said Gwen. I put my hands up but I had to keep shaking my leg to keep my little problem under control.

The man noticed this and asked. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” I said. I obviously couldn’t keep still.

“Nothing?” He asked.

“Yes, Nothing,” I said frustrated. “Please say your spiel.”

“My Spiel?” He asked.

“Yes!” I said crossing my arms and shaking harder. “Your bad guy spiel! You are obviously here to say something to us! Like ‘back off the Danny Price case.’ Or ‘Stop looking into that suicide.’ Just say it.”

“Hunny?!” Said Gwen. “I think you’re upsetting him…”

“Sorry,” I said. “Just say your piece,” I said. Tapping my foot.

“Okay.” Said the man. “I do want you to back off the Price case, but I get the feeling you aren’t taking me seriously.”

“Look!” I said. “I really have to pee right now. There I said it. So here’s the deal in what detective novel or move has warning the detective ever worked?” I took a step forward. “Second if you are going to shoot us just do so,” I said taking another step. “But if you do your problems multiply! Because you’re basically confirming that my wife and I are right. Danny was murdered. At least if you let us live were the only ones who are looking into it.”

“Listen, I just really need you to stop…”

“Shoot us or leave!” I shouted. “Those are your options. Please make it quick!”  The man looked around, others were noticing the commotion. He put the gun away and ran.

STCD Story update #38 posted 7/24/17

I ran too, straight to the bathroom back at Covfefe. You
now those mini-orgasms you have when you haven’t peed in a while. Peegasims? I had one of those. Sorry TMI.

I emerged from Covfefe with more than a little embarrassment. “What the hell was that?” Said Gwen throwing her arms around me and kissing me.  “I know I should be mad at you because that guy could have killed you but that was just…” She paused for a moment. “You’re like a human train wreck! And sometimes I think I’m with you because I can’t stop watching the bizarre weird disaster that is you unfold.”

“Thanks,” I said laughing. “I love you too.”

“You know, you are never living this down.” She said. “Don’t mess with my husband because he has to pee.”

“Don’t keep me from urinating. You wouldn’t like me when I’m not urinating…” I said.


STCD Story update #39 posted 7/25/17

It was time to consult our silent partner. The more we knew about Dany the stranger the situation became. Danny was selling weed to his friends. It was illegal for kids to smoke weed, but why didn’t the kids just get it the same way they got cigarettes and beer?

One of my police buddies told me that even though prohibition had ended in Colorado the illegal weed infrastructure was in place and the dealers were shifting their focus to a younger audience. “Eventually, even the younger market would dry up and the dealers will move onto something else,” he told me. The more things change.

I loaded Casper and we smoked it together. Gwen didn’t see ghosts like I did. It made her kind of sad.


STCD Story update #40 posted 7/26/17

It was about a half hour later that we were discussing the case. Sarah didn’t always show up right away. Sometimes she took a while sometimes she didn’t show up at all.

“I need to use the bathroom.” Said Gwen.

“Okay,” I said.

“Do you need it? Because I know how you can get.” She teased.

“No, I’m good. I took care of it.”

Gwen went to the bathroom, that’s when I heard a scratching. I checked the kitchen. Meow the cat said. It must have gotten trapped in the cupboard. Meow it said louder now bumping the door to get it open. I opened the cabinet to find a fully grown woman, she was pale and disheveled and with black greasy hair. She jumped out of the cabinet with an evil hiss before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

That’s right we don’t have a cat.


STCD Story update #41 posted 7/27/17

Sarah stood behind me. I turned around to see her smiling. “Don’t be so proud of yourself.”

Gwen came out of the bathroom. “I heard you jump is Sarah here?”

“You heard me jump?” I asked unaware that I had reacted at all. I felt fear, but I thought I managed to keep it under wraps.

“Yes. You always jump.” That’s how I know when Sarah is here.

“Well, the good news is I don’t have to pee anymore,” I said. “How are things going on your end?” I asked Sarah. She gave a shrug.

“We found out that Danny was selling pot to his friends. Maybe the whole school.” I said. “His friends seem to think that his supplier might be the culprit.”

Sarah paused for a moment.

STCD Story update #42 posted 7/28/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

Sarah disappeared and reappeared in front of the computer She began to point at it emphatically. “What’s on the computer?” I mostly used my computer to play video games. So I didn’t think much about it.

“She’s pointing at the computer?” Asked Gwen.

“Yes,” I said. “She seems to think it could help.” Sarah kept pointing.

“Maybe she thinks we can learn something about the case on the computer?” Asked Gwen sitting down.

“I doubt we could learn who the killer is by looking at his Facebook,” I said.  Sarah got really excited. She pointed at me and put one finger on her nose.

“Maybe we can.” Said Gwen looking on. “You never know what someone will put on social media.”

So we logged onto facebook. I guess that’s what gumshoes do nowadays.

STCD Story update #43 posted 7/29/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

It took a bit to find the right Danny Price. His Facebook was ‘parent safe,’ just a few post about his daily routine and some basic family meantime. You would almost think Dany got along with his mother.

So we dug deeper. We checked him on twitter and Instagram even google plus. We got the most info on Instagram, his family didn’t seem to talk to know he had an Instagram account. He never really came right out and said it but there was definitely some between the lines kind of talk. “Hey look at this.” Said Gwen reading one of Dany’s posts:

“Wolf: I need some stuff.
Dany: I don’t have any.
Wolf: Well when do you think you’ll get some?
Dany: Tomorrow.”

“That was posted the day of his suicide. It’s his last post.” I said. “It definitely looks like he met with his supplier. Seems a little convenient though…”

“That somebody told us about Dany’s supplier and then we find evidence that points to them.” Said Gwen.

Sarah noticed something on the computer and tried to get our attention.


STCD Story update #44 posted 7/30/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

By our attention, I meant my attention. Which was focused on talking to Gwen and not the mute transparent ghost person? That’s when Sarah did something new. Her eyes went black and her face stretched and she screamed. “Dagh!” I screamed jumping away from her. She had never done that before.

“What happened?” Asked Gwen.

“Sarah she did the face with the thing and the screaming,” I said blurting out the words before the thought had fully formed.

“What?”

“Sarah did this crazy weird thing where her face changed shape and she screamed like a banshee,” I said.

“She made noise?” Said Gwen.

“Scary noise,” I said. “Like when she first fear’s me,” I said.

“Maybe she figured out how to tap into that part of your brain.” Said Gwen.

Sarah was looking impatient again. “Don’t!” I said to her. “I’m looking.” She pointed at the computer screen. Specifically at a picture of Danny’s cat.

STCD Story update #45 posted 7/31/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“What is it?” Asked Gwen.

“A picture of Danny’s cat.” I looked closer at the image. There was nothing in the background that I could see. Maybe it was something only a ghost could see?

“Look at his comment.” Said Gwen.  “Found out who was trying to hack my computer.”

“Dann’s computer was set to take screenshots of people who tried to login?” I asked.

“What if?” Said Gwen. “When Danny was murdered his keyboard was hit? Or the killer tried to log on after his murder?”

“Either way it’s worth a shot,” I said. I looked at Sarah is that what you’ve been trying to tell us?” Sarah shook her head. You know for someone who’s been dead for twelve years she’s surprisingly knowledgeable about technology?

STCD Story update #46 posted 8/2/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

Alice said that they gave all of Danny’s old stuff back to Donna. That she was keeping it as a memorial. So we headed over to Donna’s trailer. We tried to call Dona before we got there but there was no answer. We knocked on the door, a man answered. He was a large man, he was a bit nervious. “Yes?”

“Sorry, we were looking for Dona.”Said Gwen.

“Are you the people? The detective guy?” He asked. “I’m Donna’s Husband Carlos.”

“Yes.” Said Gwen. “Do you mind if we have a look at some of Danny’s stuff?”

“Sure.” Said Carlos

They had a spare bedroom, it was something of a shrine to Danny. With a picture of Danny over his bed. All of his stuff was set up as if he was still using it. Everything but the laptop.

STCD Story update #47 posted 8/3/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

 There was a space for the laptop but it wasn’t there. It was very obviously missing.

“Hey?” I asked. “Didn’t Danny have a laptop computer?”

“A laptop?” Asked Carlos. “Why do you ask?”

“We think it might be important to the case.” Said Gwen.

“I don’t know.” Said Carlos. “I don’t think Alice and Keven gave it to us.”

I was sensing a rat. “Maybe Donna will know,” I said. “We’ll ask her.”

“No!” Said Carlos. “Don’t do that!  I mean it’s not necessary… I’m sure I can help you find it.”

“Carlos.” Said Gwen. “Where’s the Laptop?”

“Look!” Said Carlos. “I pawned the laptop. It’s not like Danny was using it. I was going to get it back as soon as I won the money back. Don’t tell Donna.”

“You pawned the laptop to pay off gambling debt?”  I asked.

“No!” Said Carlos. “I pawned it to make a bet. It was a sure thing!”

“Got you!” I said. I discreetly pulled out my road buddy. I was hoping Danny was feeling talkative. So to speak.

STCD Story update #48 posted 8/4/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

As I Gwen got the information from Carlos, I took a quick tour of Danny’s room he seemed pretty obsessed with aliens. I guess that’s where he got the idea of ET on meth.  He was a huge fan of X-Files and The Fringe. As I was looking I was taking hits off my vape pen. Danny didn’t take long, I turned around to see a tall gray alien standing behind me. He was just standing there watching me with those unsettling almond easy.

He faded into smoke and Danny was standing there. Looking pissed.

“What’s up?” I asked.

Danny’s face went and his eye’s widened and he screamed at me his face reverting to the alien that was standing behind me.

STCD Story update #49 posted 8/5/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“What is wrong with you?” I asked Danny as his face was changing back to normal.

His face started to distort again. “Don’t!” I said.

“What’s going on?” Asked Gwen.

“Danny’s discovered Sarah’s little attention getter,” I said.

“Well, that can’t be good.” Said Gwen.

“Danny’s here?” Said Carlos a little freaked out. “what is he saying?”

 “Nothing, but he sure is screaming,” I said. Danny screamed at me again. I could feel my heart racing. “Danny!” I said. “I don’t know what you’re trying to say. It doesn’t work that way!” He sat there looking frustrated. Like he was about to scream again.

STCD Story update #50 posted 8/6/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“Yes or no questions!” I said to Danny. “Can we do yes or no questions?” He looked frustrated but gave a nod.

“Are you upset with me?” I asked. He nodded.

“Is it something about this case?” I asked.  He nodded.

“Is it about Donna?” I asked. He shook his head no.

“Is it about the laptop?” Asked Gwen. I was going to repeat the question, but he shook his head.

“He always hated when Donna went into his room maybe it’s that?” Asked Carlos. Danny shook his head.

Danny was clearly growing impatient. “Do you just want me to quit the case?” I blurted out in frustration.

Danny pointed at me and nodded again. “That was it?!” I said.

STCD Story update #51 posted 8/7/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“Wait,” I said to Danny. “You want me to quit the case?” Danny nodded again.

“Why?” Asked Gwen. Danny gave a shrug.

“You did tell us you were murdered?” I asked. Danny nodded again.

“Don’t you want us to catch your murderer?” I asked.

Danny shrugged again. “Look, Danny,” I said. “Who are you trying to protect?”

Danny rolled his eyes and walked away from his form dissolving into smoke.

STCD Story update #52 posted 8/8/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Carlos told us which pawn shop to go to. We got in the car and Gwen drove us. “Why do you think Danny wants us to drop the case?” Asked Gwen.

“I think he might be trying to protect someone,” I said. “He left before we could get an answer.”

“So are we going to drop it?”Asked Gwen.

“Danny didn’t hire us,” I said. “Donna did. Until she call’s it quits we keep working.”

“What about Carlos?” Said Gwen, “Do you think he could be Danny’s connection?”

“Well, I’m guessing he’s tied to the mob through his gambling or his job as a lawyer. But he was definitely not the guy from the other night.” I said.

“Why even tell us where to get the laptop?” Said Gwen. “Still he might know something. The real question is who is our mystery man. He’s too short to be Keven, too thin to be Carlos, and too old to be Wolf.”

“One thing for certain, we find him we find our killer,” I said.

STCD Story update #53 posted 8/9/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

We got to the pawn shop. “What can I do ya for.” Said the man working the counter.

“We need to get a laptop out of pawn.” Said Gwen.

“It was owned by Calrose Dibbs,” I said.

“Oh wow.” Said The Guy. “I must admit you’ve found me at a disadvantage.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Look.” Said the man Shrugging. “Carlos is a nice guy, got me out of a few parking tickets, but he never comes back on anything he pawns…”

“Did you sell it?” Asked Gwen.

“No. It’s still here I got it in the back.” Said, man.

“So what’s the problem?” I asked.

“I just got done factory resetting it.” He said.

All I could say was. “Crap”

STCD Story update #54 posted 8/10/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

“You factory reset the laptop?!” I said. “Carlos said he had until Friday to buy it back!”

“Yeah, Carlos never comes back for anything.” Said the pawn shop worker. “He also said it belonged to some dead kid. So if he did come back it wasn’t going to matter if it were reset.”

“What do we do?” I asked.

“Maybe,” said Gwen. “We could find someone who is good at computers? I don’t think a Factory reset wipes the hard drive.”

Gwen was right. There was a chance we just need a tech person. “Who do we know that recovers lost data?”

The Pawn shop clerk said. “I know a guy, do you guy’s have a problem with cannabis?”

“Surprisingly no,” I said.

STCD Story update #55 posted 8/11/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Serene Green Cannabis Growers was a legal cannabis grower in Colorado springs. They had both privet stock area and an area for growing medical and recreational weed. For a fee, they would grow and watch over up to six plants for a prospective client. Six was the legal limit a privet citizen could grow, but it was dangerous to grow your own, pot scalpers often got to your harvest before you did. It was safer to grow your own in a nursery like this one.

We walked in the door the receptionist took one look at our computer. “You want Hymie.” She said.

“Wow, are we that obvious?” I asked.

“It’s the computer.” She said. She picked up the phone trying to call him. “He’s not answering.”

“Do you have a bathroom?” Asked Gwen.

“Right over there.” Said the Receptionist, and Gwen went in.

A man was walking by. “Hey, Less!”  She called. Less paused. “Less get Hymie.”

“Okay.” Said Less he glanced over at me and looked away really quick. Something about him looked familiar.

“Do I know you from somewhere?” I asked.

“No.” He said. “Never met you before.” His voice sounded deeper than before.

“What’s wrong with your voice?” Asked the Receptionist.

“I don’t know.” Less said. “I better go get Hymie.” And he ran off.

“That was strange,” I said.

STCD Story update #56 posted 8/12/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

“What was strange?” Asked Gwen coming back from the bathroom.

“Nothing important,” I said.

We waited for Hymie for what seemed like forever. The receptionist looked up and saw us. “You’re still here?”

“Maybe today is his day off?” I said.

“No.” Said the receptionist shaking her head. “Less is pretty new he’s only been here for about nine or ten months. He’s not very reliable, I’ll give Hymie another call…” She didn’t have to it seemed the man in question came strolling through at that very moment.

“Hymie!” called the receptionist. “These people want to see you.” Hymie was an average height slight build man of Puerto Rican descent. Or at least I got that impression from his I love Porto Rico tee-shirt. I chided myself for jumping to conclusions. He definitely looked Hispanic or Latino, but I find it best to let people tell their story than to make quick judgments based on visual cues. Perhaps this was his laundry day shirt or he just got back from vacation. If he wanted to talk about his heritage that was up to him. For now, I left that part of his story unwritten. He looked to be in his late twenties. Young handsome well kept.

Hyme took a look at us and asked. “Virus?”

“Premature factory reset,” I said.

“We need to get files off the hard drive. ” Gwen said.

“I think I can help.” Said Hymie. He gestured for us to follow.

“Nice shirt,” I said to him. It wasn’t a trick I thought it was well-designed and looked good. Lots of bright colors without being too loud.

“Thanks.” He said.

STCD Story update #57 posted 8/13/17

http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Hymie’s office was filled computers and computer parts. “Come on in.” Gesturing to some chairs. “Have a seat.” We sat down.

On the wall were several posters of Porto Rico, as well as posters of superheroes. He seemed to favor Image and Dark Horse over Marvel and DC, but there was plenty of everything.

Hymie got to work immediately taking apart the computer as he worked he began to talk to us. “Are you trying to get some old memories.”

“It’s a murder case,” I said. “We think there’s a chance that a suicide was actually a murder, and that the proof might be on that hard drive.”

“So you guys are like fighting the good fight. Catching the bad guys. I’m down.” Said Hymie. “I use to work for the CIA, so I know a lot about catching the bad guy’s.”

“Really?” asked Gwen. “What did you do there?”

Hymie laughed. “If I told ya, they would probably lock both of us up in a really big hole and forget about us.”

STCD Story update #58 posted 8/14/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

Hymie removed the hard drive from the computer and plugged it into his machine. “Okay let’s see what we got.” He pulled up the drive, “I got files.”

“Yay!” Said Gwen.

“Great we just need to see Danny’s screenshots.”

“Whoa,” Said Hymie. “This guy was obsessed with aliens.”

“Well, at least we know the drive is right.” Said Gwen.

“How old did you say this guy was?” Aked Hymie.

“Why?” I asked.

“The dude’s got spreadsheets.” Said Hymie taking a sip of his coffee, then he took out a joint. “How many teenagers do you know have spreadsheets. Do you mind if I smoke?”

Gwen and I looked at each other. “No.”

“Porto Rico Gold.” He said lighting up the Joint. “From the mother land.  My grandma used to grow this in her backyard in a greenhouse on the outskirts of Cayey. Said she got the seeds from the time she went to Jamaica and smoked with Bob Marly. I don’t know if that’s true but it’s good stuff. My cousin and I smuggled some seeds past TSA to start the business.” He offered it to me.

“Sorry germaphobe,” I said. “I got my own,” I held up my road buddy I didn’t use it I didn’t want to see a ghost at that moment.

“That’s cool.” He said.

He offered it to Gwen who disappointedly said. “Designated Driver.” This was becoming an increasing problem for Gwen. I wasn’t allowed to drive because of well hallucinations. You can say visions of ghosts, but whatever you say I almost ran us off the road once and I wasn’t even high. So Gwen was doing the driving, and this meant she couldn’t smoke.

STCD Story update #59 posted 8/16/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

“So what’s on these spreadsheets?” Asked Gwen.

“Let’s find out.” Said Hymie opening one up. “Hun…” He said. “Was this kid running a business? These are invoices.”

“He was rumored confirmed to be the local pot seller to kids,” I said.

“Hashtag confirmed.” Said Hymie. “Wait…” He paused. “That would make these designations cannabis strains.”

“What’s the matter?” Asked Gwen.

“PRG, that’s Porto Rico Gold, and TGIPF is Thank God It’s Purple Friday! These are our strains! No! They got Hazy Mellow! That’s not even on the market yet! Jorge is going to be pissed.”

“Who’s Jorge?” Gwen asked.

“He’s that cousin I mentioned earlier. He runs the nursery.”

“Maybe there is an answer in the camera roll,” I said. “Danny set an anti-tamper thing,” I said.

Hymie pulled up the pictures from the camera roll. “Here is the last one I see.”

“It’s dated the day of Danny’s death.” Said Gwen. “The time stamp says it was taken at eight thirty, that’s in the four-hour window.”

Hymie pulled up the picture. There it was the guy from the reception room, the one that was supposed to get Hymie. “Doesn’t that guy work here?” I asked.

“He sure does! That’s Less!” Said Hymie.

“Don’t you see?” Gwen asked me. “That’s the guy from the other night? The gunman you chased off because you really had to pee!”

“I really need to talk to Less!” Said Hymie getting up to leave the room. He turned back and said. “Someday I want to hear that story though.” Then left.

I looked at the man on screen and tried to picture him as the gunman. “Really?” I asked.

STCD Story update #60 posted 8/17/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

I was squinting at the picture trying to see what was Gwen was sure of, that the man who was in Danny’s room messing with his computer was the gunman who tried to get us to quit the case. I sort of saw it. The jawline was right anyway. That’s when I noticed it. In the background, there was a mirror. In that mirror was the reflection of Danny and another man standing over him holding a gun to his head. The image was blurry, but I definitely recognized Danny by his hair. “Look,” I said pointing at the image.

“What’s that?” Asked Gwen.

“Our man less had a partner,” I said.

“Less is gone!” Said Hymie. “He cut out right after he saw you, didn’t even clock out. I’m having someone go through the camera footage, looking for Less doing anything unusual.”

“That figures,” I said. “Look at this.” I pointed out the two men in the mirror.

“Is that man holding a gun?” Asked Hymie.

“Can we get a closer look,” Gwen said.

Hymie enlarged the image. “That’s no good, it’s still blurry,” I said.

“What do you want me to do?” Asked Hymie.

“I don’t know enhance it or something…” I said.

“Listen CSI,” said Hymie. “That’s not how it works. I might be able to clean the image up in a few day’s but there is no magic show us the bad guy’s face button.”

 “Wait…” I said sounding shocked. “T.V. is Fake?”


STCD Story update #61 posted 8/18/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington

We had enough to go to the police, so we showed them our evidence and the investigation was reopened. An All Points Bulletin was put on Lester Bannon as a person of interest in the case. It only took a few day’s to get him. Dwyane Coldron who was recently transferred from Woodland Park was assigned to the case. He was an average height black man with a penitent for Pizza and for my part I counted him amongst our friends.

“Peter!” He said, shaking my hand and hugging me at the same time. “Gwen!” He gave her a little hug. “How have you guy’s been?” He asked.

“You work for the CSPD now?” Gwen asked.

“Yep.” He said. “Needed a little change of venue.”

“How’s Charles?” I asked. Charles was another friend from the Woodland Park Police Department. He had volunteered to dive Gwen and me around, and unfortunately got injured when someone cut the breaks on out car.

“He’s recovering, but…” Dwyane hesitated. “He’s being forced into early retirement.”

“What!?” Asked Gwen.

“They are saying his injuries could prevent him from doing his job.” Said Dwayne.

“I thought his arms would be fine once they healed up,” I said.

Dwayne’s voice got low. “Some rumors suggest it might be because he’s openly gay…” I felt an anger rising inside me. If the was true I was very upset. I made a note to talk to Charles as soon as possible.

STCD Story update #62 posted 8/19/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

We put our feelings about Charles early retirement aside and at the behest of Dwayne went into the interrogation room. I sat at the table covering the man’s face with my hand so I could only see the lower half of his face, thinking back to the gunman who was wearing a ball cap and kept his face hidden under the brim.

“What is he doing?” Asked Less. And everyone looked at me. I quickly put my hand down.

“Less,” said Dwayne, sliding a picture over to him. “Can you tell me what you were doing inside Danny Price’s house the night of his supposed suicide?”

“He’s doing it again!” Said Less looking at me I did indeed resume trying to identify him as the gunman.

Gwen who was sitting next to me whispered. “Peter!”

“Don’t pay attention to him.” Said Dwayne. “Pay attention to me.”

“Just make him stop.!” Said Less.

“Fine, I’ll stop,” I said. Crossing my arms. I whispered to Gwen. “I think you may be right.” Gwen rolled her eyes.

“Answer my question.” Said Dwayne.

“That’s not me.” Said Less. “Good likeness, maybe it’s photoshopped. IDK. I wasn’t there.” Did he just say the letters IDK? Why?

That’s when I got an idea. “I have to pee,” I announced loudly.

“Again?” Asked Lester.

“Ah-ha!” I exclaimed.

STCD Story update #63 posted 8/20/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“You are the guy who tried to hold us at gunpoint the other night!” I said. “The one who tried to get us to quit the Danny Price case.”

“No, I’m not.” Said Less.

“Yes, you are!” I said standing up. “Because I had to pee really bad that night and I told you! So when you said ‘again’ just now you couldn’t have said that unless you had the previous context! Therefore you are the same guy, and that means you do know Danny Price because you mentioned him by name that night, meaning this is you in this picture! Check and mate my friend! Check and mate!” I sat back down triumphantly.

“Um…” Said Dwayne. “Can I speak with you guy’s outside?”

On the way out we met Keven Sutton at the door.

“Sir,” he said. “We need to get your signature to put that laptop into evidence.”

“Sure.” Said Dwayne. Stepping out in the hall with us. “You shouldn’t be anywhere near this interrogation room,” Dwayne said under his breath.

“Sorry,” said Keven while Dwayne was singing the form.  “I just wanted to see the face of the bastard that killed Danny.”

“I saw nothing,” Said Dwyane. “Just stay out of that room you got it?”

“Sir.” Said Keven running off.

We got into Dwayne’s offices, and he closed the door. “Didja see how I tricked the bad guy?” I said.

“I did.” Said Gwen. “It was awesome!”

“What the hell were you thinking?!” Asked Dwayne.

STCD Story update #64 posted 8/21/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“I try to be respectful of this whole cannabis as a tool thing, but I got to ask; are you high?” Asked Dwayne.

“I thought I just I just solved the case?” I asked confused. “Or at least caught the suspect in a lie.”

“No. What you just did was the opposite of solving the case. It was sending the case careening off a cliff into a lake that’s on fire, and… and filled with piranhas.” Said Dwayne.

“I don’t get it,” I said.

“So I am to understand that this man is a suspect in a crime that you two are both witnesses to?”

“Yes.” Gwen and I said together looking at each other.

“And I’m guessing that neither of you had the good sense to report this crime when it happened?” Dwayne said razing an eyebrow.

“Well, it didn’t really seem necessary at the time…” I started to say.

“So now you two are accusing a suspect you, yourselves have brought to our attention of a crime that is not on the record. Do you know what a good defense attorney is going to do to that?” Dwayne said shaking his hands in frustration.

“I’m guessing it involves disemboweling,” I said realizing he was right.

“If, we are lucky, and now, I allowed two witnesses to a crime sit in on an interrogation of the suspect. Do you know how big a violation of protocol that is? I’ll be lucky to keep my badge if this gets out.”

“Sorry,” I said.

“Hey!” Said Gwen. “Ease of Peter. He didn’t know. He thought he was catching a suspect in a lie, and he did. Without Peter, none of this would be possible.”

“I’m sorry,” said Dwayne. “We just need to move carefully, our proof is not iron-clad. You two stay here I’m going to see if I can get anything out of him before he decides to Lawyer up like a Trump on Tuesday.”

STCD Story update #65 posted 8/22/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

While Dwayne was gone I turned to Gwen. “I don’t understand. I did the smart thing and caught the bad guy in a lie. That’s supposed to be a win.”

“I know hunny.” Said Gwen giving me a hug.  “That doesn’t always work in the real world.”

Dwayne was only with less for like five minutes. Then he came back. Looking confused.

“What happened?” Asked Gwen.

“He confessed,” said  Dwayne. “Said your trick made him realize that he wasn’t going to get away with it.”

“That’s awesome!” I said.

“Maybe,” said Dwayne. “It doesn’t feel right. He said he acted alone without help yet in the picture we see someone else.”

“And why the sudden change of heart?” Asked Gwen. “He didn’t seem ready to crack when we were in there.”

“Right.” Said Dwayne.

“Oh my god!” Said Gwen, reaching into her purse. “I think I know who did it.” She took out the locket. She had been holding onto it just in case.

STCD Story update #66 posted 8/23/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

We found ourselves in another interrogation room. Behind the scenes, much of the work had already gone on. Little bits of evidence were piling up.  Things Gwen and I weren’t involved in. Like forensics and lab stuff. We just needed to know two more things.

Alice sat in the chair looking nervious. “Why am I here?” She asked.

“It’s okay.” Siad Gwen kindly. “We just have a few questions for you.” Gwen was speaking because I was only allowed in the room on my solemn vow I would not speak or move my hands.

“I told you everything I know.” Said Alice. “What else is there?”

“We wanted to ask you about the night of Danny’s murder?” Asked Dwayne.

“Anything.” Said Alice. “But I thought you got the guy?”

“We’re tying up loose ends.”  Said Dwayne. “Are you sure you were with your husband the whole night?”

Alice looked down. She took a heavy sigh. “No.” She looked up. “Ever since you guy’s started asking questions about it. I’ve been thinking about it. Date night was Keven’s idea. He started it recently wanted to breathe life back into our relationship. That night, every date night, he would take me to my favorite restaurant. He’d drop me off at the front door and go park the car…” She began crying. “He’d take really long to get back, I thought at first I thought he was planning something really big…”

Dwayne passed her a tissue. “Go on.” He said.

“The night Danny died he took forever to get back.” Said Alice. “I’ve just kept thinking about it…”

There was a knock on the door. An impatient knock.

STCD Story update #67 posted 8/24/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

Dwayne opened the door. They had taken Kevin to another interrogation room, the detective interrogating him was at the door. “Keven wants to see his wife.”

It was a hard thing all around, he was a cop, and now his co-workers were investigating him. It made Dwayne very unpopular, and me the bad guy, but to their credit, the CSPD didn’t try to bury it. They didn’t take the first suspect and pigeon-holed the investigation. They stuck with it even when it went somewhere they didn’t like.

“Um…” Dwyane was hesitant.

 “Please?” Asked Keven. “Don’t do this to her. It was me.”

“Common man.” Said The investigator. “He’s already confessed.” Dwayne nodded and let them in. Keven told the whole story.
 “I busted Less for possession a few times when he was a kid. When he got a job at a grower we cooked up a scheme to sell weed, he skimmed it from his job and Danny sold it for us.”

“Why?” Asked Alice.

“Money.” Said Keven. “I was saving up for a vacation, I was going to take you on the honeymoon you never got.”

“Why did you kill Danny?” She asked.

“It was an accident! I heard that Danny was selling weed for more than he was telling us, and keeping the rest. I was furious! I dropped you off at the restaurant and then me and less went to confront him. He wasn’t talking, which made me madder, but I swear I was just trying to scare him. I put the gun to his head, I undid the safety, I…” He hesitated. “I put my finger on the trigger, it was all for show. I was not going to pull the trigger. There was a loud noise and the gun went off…”

Alice was crying. Sobbing. I felt so bad for her. “Please take him away.”

“I’m so sorry.” Said Kevin. They escorted him out.

STCD Story update #68 posted 8/25/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

The case was over the murder of Danny price was solved, but somehow a win didn’t feel like a win. “You were right,” I said to Donna. “There was more to Danny’s death, I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”

“Kevin bribed the coroner so he would give a false report.” Said Gwen.

“It’s a huge black eye for the department. Internal affairs are investigating.” I pointed out. “The media is all over it.”

“Well, it’s good that you looked into it.” Said Donna. “Alice is moving back in with us. She’ll be under my protection. If only they had listened to me in the first place. None of this would have happened.”

“Hows that?” I asked forgetting myself.

“Well, the demons of course.” Said Donna. “Kevins not to blame. The demons made him do it. I could have stopped them. I’ll do a better job looking out for Alice from now on…”

We tried to give Donna back her locket, but she insisted we keep it. She seemed to think it would protect us from bad spirits.

“So how did you know?” I asked Gwen on the ride home.

“Didja ever open the locket?” Asked Gwen.

“No,” I said a little embarrassed. I opened it to see a picture of a little boy and a slightly older girl, Danny and Alice. That’s when I got it.  In his way, Danny did tell us who killed him. He was protecting his sister, the only other soul who understood his life. After all, Kevin wasn’t even a bad guy, he made a mistake. Ther reason he took so long on date night? He was running to the back to deposit cash in a secret bank account. One he opened to take Alice on a honeymoon.  Danny probably knew that. Maybe Danny could overlook his own murder if he thought it meant his sister could be happy.

I tried to ask him, but he never showed back up. Guess he just wanted to be left alone. Something was still bothering me though…

STCD Story update #69 posted 8/27/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

I was running around unsupervised. Gwen was in a meeting with Lars, her partner in the Honey business. Gwen was too busy with the case to go out and sell honey, and it was getting to be a real problem. Getting up that early played hell on Gwen’s nausea.

I made a run to Covfefe. What? They had good brew, and if you didn’t stare directly at the decor it was alright. I was wiping the cream off my shirt from my “Commander and Cheif” donut. It was a cream filled donut with orange frosting and yellow whip cream on top. If felt a little weird eating it… In a “what does this say about me?” kind of way.  I pushed through that feeling and enjoyed my donut. Found out that the donut told people I was a sloppy eater.

Anyhow while I was wiping away the cream, I spotted Peter AKA “Wolf.” He was leaving the store so I followed him. It suddenly all came together. I caught up to him and said. “Hey, wolf! Can I buy some weed?”

Wolf smiled back at me. “As it happens I don’t have any, but I think you knew that…”

STCD Story update #70 posted 8/28/17
http://www.thoughtsfromaderangedprisoner.com
By Michael J Pennington.

“You son of a bitch! You wound Keven up like a cheap watch, and then you sent him after Danny!”

“Look I may have said something…” He paused. “In regards to Danny not being straight with him, but I had no idea he was going to kill him.”

“No, but maybe you hoped he stop working with Dany and start working with you,” I said.

“You never know until you try.” He smiled.

“You were there that night?” I said.

“So what if I was.” Said, Peter. “Maybe I went to see my friend and I go in and see his brother in law holding a gun to his head, I knocked over that broom by accident. Then I got scared and ran away.”

“He was your friend,” I said.

“He had a sweet gig. I saw an opportunity so I took it.” Said, Peter.

“So you placed yourself to be Danny’s replacement. Why put us on Kevin’s trail?” I asked.

“I saw things going south.” said, Peter. “I figured better him than me. I did call Less to scare you. Didn’t expect you become captain piss man, that was funny.”

“Well know I know the whole story…”

“And what?” said, Peter. “Who’s going to believe you. The worst thing I get busted for selling weed to minors. You can’t prove the rest.”

 With that, he smiled gave a friendly wave and walked away, and I let him. He was right. I couldn’t prove my accusations, Kevin was guilty and what was done couldn’t be undone. That was the worst feeling, knowing you were powerless to get the person responsible for so much misery.  Turns out Donna was right after all it was a Deamon, but this one came disguised as a friend.

END.
(Tune in tomorrow for the start of another Smoke: The Cannabis Detective adventure!)

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